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This month, we’re celebrating National Co-op Month along with 40,000 other cooperative businesses nationwide. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Co-ops Commit,” recognizing the way that cooperative businesses are committed to meeting the needs of their members and communities, rather than generating returns for distant corporations and investors.
Cooperatives commit to their communities by working for sustainable development and economic independence. They generate jobs, keep profits local, and pay local taxes to help support community services. Most of the profits generated by co-ops are either reinvested in the cooperative or returned to their owners. Those dollars recirculate close to home, helping to strengthen the local economy.
Cooperatives also commit to building trust between the co-op, its members, and the community. All co-ops are united by and strive to adhere to seven key cooperative principles. Once principle, Democratic Member Control, means owners have a voice in the cooperative’s policies and decisions. Another principle, Concern for Community, means co-ops give back by making charitable contributions to community efforts, by providing educational opportunities to their community, and by encouraging their employees’ involvement in local organizations.
When you consider all the ways co-ops are committed to their communities, isn’t it time you committed to the co-op in your community? For a ONE-time investment of $200 or by beginning installment plan of $21 per month, you can be a Founding Owner of Food Shed Co-op
, committed to making sure we open our doors sooner rather than later!
Join us for a Pumpkin Party!
Our owners are meeting up for some festive fall fun at Terre Vitae Farms! As a friend of Food Shed, you’re invited, too! Join us this Sunday, October 22, for a family-friendly event, where we’ll paint pumpkins, enjoy snacks, and have a “pumpkin chuckin’” contest. (The farm's pigs will be munching on our cracked pumpkins!) This is a great opportunity to get to know some of Food Shed’s owners and check out our community. Pumpkins and painting supplies will be provided — RSVP so we can plan ahead.
DIY Kombucha Workshop
Are you crazy about kombucha? This popular health tonic can be found in almost every grocery store these days. But did you know you can easily brew it at home for a fraction of the cost? Join us on Sunday, November 5, at Conscious Cup in Crystal Lake, where owner Andrea Pracht will show you everything you need to know and send you home with resources and your own SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) to start your first batch. (Check out Andrea’s website, My Kitchen Clatter, for lots of tips and recipes for cooking with whole foods and information about other classes she teaches.) Space is limited, and only a few tickets are left, so purchase your tickets today!
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Have you noticed that a lot of grocers out there are starting to label some of their food as local? Customers are demanding more local food because they know that buying local keeps money in their community and ensures they are getting more fresh, high-quality food for their families.
Or does it?
To promote sales, stores are quick to label their food in response to customer demand . But while lots of traditional grocers feature a few local products, a closer look often reveals that their definition of ”local” actually means “regional” or isn’t defined at all! So that local zucchini you’re eyeing in your grocery store might actually be from a few counties (or states!) away.
No other grocery model provides access to local food as well or as efficiently as a food co-op. Compared to traditional grocers, co-ops source more than three times as many of the products they sell from local farmers and food artisans. Food Shed Co-op will provide year-round access to TRULY local, sustainable food with transparent labelling so that you can make informed decisions about what you buy. We predict that from the moment we open our doors, our store will offer products from 30 to 50 local food producers, and our local offerings will only grow from there.
As a co-op, we rely on like-minded community members like YOU who are interested in bringing this type of grocery store to McHenry County. Our store is a powerful vision that almost 600 owners have committed to making a reality. People who become owners BEFORE the store opens are truly special because they are the visionaries who ensure that our co-op will become a reality.
We need more of these visionaries to step up to bring a different type of business to our community! For a ONE-time investment of $200 or beginning installment plan of $21 per month, you can be one of the visionary owners who makes our store open sooner rather than later.
Annual Meeting - Owners Only!
Jump on board as an owner this month so you can join us for our annual meeting at McHenry County College on September 18th! As an owner, you’ll be able to vote for the board members who represent you, and on important amendments to our bylaws. You’ll also enjoy socializing with other owners and hearing important updates about our future plans and site search.
With the 4th of July just a few days away, we’ve been reflecting on our freedom and independence. Parades, fireworks, and celebrations are lots of fun, but what does independence have to do with a food co-op?
Every day, we watch the corporations dominating our food system grow larger. As they make decisions that maximize their own profits, we pay the price as our health, the well being of our communities, and the sustainability of our planet suffer. But we don’t have to feel overwhelmed in the face of corporate giants. Food cooperatives across the county are proving that communities can join together and create their own independent grocery stores, where products are sourced locally, profits are reinvested in the community, and owners have a voice in how their store does business.
Hundreds of local families have joined together to declare their independence from the corporations that are trying to control the food industry. And you can too, as an owner of Food Shed Co-op! Join us as an owner of a grocery store that has your interests and your community’s needs in mind.
Owner Kimberly Hayes wants encourage everyone to jump onboard and help us reach the 600 owner mark as fast as we can. She’s donating gift baskets from Modere for the next five people who join Food Shed as owners. Own your co-op now and enjoy some fantastic earth-friendly personal care products.
Give back with your co-op as we collect supplies for the PADS Compassion for Campers program. Our team of volunteers will drop off supplies when they serve lunch at PADS on July 24 and August 28. PADS’ wish list includes: canned goods with pop off lids, batteries, socks, body wipes, bug spray, deodorant, nail trimmers, protein bars, instant coffee, toilet paper (individually wrapped), neutral colored tarps.
Donations can be dropped off to our booth at the Woodstock Farmers Market (third Saturday of each month). Thanks for your generosity and helping us give back to our community!